Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Olives Rule!

Hello All,

Olives hold a special place in my family, and with my friends. They are perhaps the ultimate love it/hate it food. I love them. Colleen, my fiancee, hates them. My mom and brother love them. My dad hates them. Some of my friends love them, some hate them.

Of course, it's only natural that Nick's tastebuds should be the ultimate battleground and proving ground for the humble olive.

If he hates them, then they are truly the devil's fruit (vegetable? soggy delicious nut? complex alien matter? what genus are olives, anyway?)

If he loves them, then they are truly the food of the gods, as I've always suspected.

Now a few weeks ago, my mother fed Nick a black olive from her submarine sandwich. According to verified reports, Nick squished it, dropped it on the floor, stomped on it and walked away in disgust. The early returns were not promising, I grant you—as far as Colleen was concerned, it was a dead issue. Nick hated olives. All was right in the world.

But it had been a black olive—which, in my estimation, are spongier and more tasteless variants of the green alive (that was a missed keystroke, alive instead of olive, but I'm leaving it because olives make one feel alive, don't they? I'm calling them alives from now on, in fact).

So anyway, the test had to happen again. With a green alive. If Nick hated it, so be it. At least we would know for sure. The following video is documented proof. Nick versus The Olive.

Place your wagers!

All best, Craig.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Except + Writing Life + Interview in Macleans

Hello All,

Here's a fairly long piece in Macleans on Cataract City, plus an interview. Many thanks to Brian Bethune for taking the time, and Daniel for taking the pic. Pieces by the other Giller finalist will run shortly, leading up to the announcement next month.


All best, Craig.

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Hello All,

In Banff, doing some events for Wordfest, the Calgary-based writing festival. Lovely weather for this time of year. Love Banff. Love saying the word itself.

Banff. Banff. BANFF!

Here's a piece on Wordfest in the Calgary Herald. I've had the great pleasure of meeting Anthony a few times lately, so it's great to share an article with him. Thanks to Eric Volmers for the interview.


Anyhoo, it's been awhile since I was last here in balmy (for now) Banff. I did a writer's residency (I think that's what it was called) six or seven years ago. A bunch of aspiring writers up here, horsing around, writing poetry and prose for a few weeks in this mountain idyll. A good time was had by all.

And now I'm back for a few days. Staying in the same lodge/hotel as I did back then. Then back home—which, after Birmingham and Calgary, is where I'd like to be. But some of the writers are continuing on to Vancouver, then looping back to Toronto for the festival there. Busy, hectic and for them, I'd hope a lot of fun. For me, right now, I think I'd like to nest for a bit.

Speaking of the Toronto Festival—I'll be there. A lovely festival. I can just hop on the subway and scurry down for my events. Here's a piece that appeared in the Toronto Star about some authors, myself included, you can expect to see there (there are TONS more). It's nice that, in my late-30s, I can still squeak into the "young" category somehow. Also, I like the word "versatile." I've been thinking of a way to describe my curious output, and I think that's the term I'll be using from now on.


All best, Craig.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Uses for Giller Invite

Hello All,

The Giller invite showed up today. Tres classy. Wrapped up in a red ribbon, which we put to good use on our son, forevermore known as Sensei Nick.

Here he is in full battle mode, with the Giller invite ribbon as a headband. He vows to defeat the evil Cobra Kai. The outfit, which my fiancee tells me is a disaster, was put together by my father and I. Never leave two men alone to dress a child ... and expect the outfit to look half-decent, at least. And by "two men," I really mean, "my father and I."

This is Sensei Nick after a long, Bloodsport-like event, ridding the world of evildoers—the Chong Li's of this earth. After that, a baby needs a stiff drink (to all Child Social Services workers who may read this: we didn't give him the drink).

I know you're all gonna be pleased with this post, because I know that's what you come to this blog to find: baby pictures. Well, today you're in luck!

All best, Craig.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

CBC Sunday Edition, October 13

Hi All,

Do you want to hear me ramble on—not in print, but verbally, sonically? On the radio, I'm saying, just to be clear? Well, then tune in this coming Sunday to Michael Enright's CBC program, starting at 9am. Well, I don't know that you'll hear me blathering then, but sometime in the following 3 hours after 9. The schedule is as follows:

Sunday: Concert etiquette; restoring Ghent Altarpiece; nominee Craig Davidson; secret history of lacrosse; materials science

EDIT: I've heard from the producer, who tells me I'll be blathering during the second hour.

If you can't find the time on Sunday, then hey, you can listen to the podcast later on the homepage:

The Sunday Edition

All best, Craig.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Giller Angst

Hello All,

A few people have asked me how I feel about the Giller longlisting on this, the day before the penultimate announcement. I've told them this: Nobody cares about awards ... until they're nominated for one. It was lovely to even get longlisted. I'm quite honestly not expecting anything more. 

Some people have said: Yeah, but it's decent odds. 5 out of 13 books. That's like a 50-50 shot, practically!

Which isn't even mathematically correct, although I appreciate the desire to stretch the odds in my favor. Truth is, as I'm sure everyone knows, it's not 13 ping-pong balls in a hopper and the first five drawn move on. There are books on the list that have a better chance and books that have a lesser chance. Some of that is based on the judges' likes and dislikes in terms of their reading; and there are likely other factors at play that we can only guess at (so why would we bother?).

Simply stated, each book is not equal. Some books have a better shot than others. Which is fair and fine.

Sadly, a few weeks ago, I found myself falling into the mindset I used to have back in grade 8, trying to guess who the basketball coach would pick for the team after tryouts.

Well, Greg Billington is the best player in school so he's on for sure. And Theo Phelps and I play the same position, but Theo's better so he'll make it before me. And the coach bought his car from the dealership that Earl Braggs' dad owns, so maybe he's go an inside track. And the other day the coach caught me picking my nose behind the utility shed, and probably thought it was pretty gross, so he may just cut me on those grounds alone ...

On and on it went. Drawing up a list and trying to figure out where you stood on it, and why, and intuit the reasoning that the coach might use to take player X and cut player Y. It was exhausting, and it was nothing that nourished the soul. Plus, as an adult it's kinda foolish. So I stopped all that.

At this point I'm just going to wake up tomorrow, get my son dressed, take him to playgroup or for a long walk and let him go down the playground slide as much as he wants, romp in the fallen leaves, then mosey on home and by that point it'll be decided. From there I'll just deal with it and get down to writing whatever's next.

UPDATE: Well, holy sheepshit ... 

All best, Craig.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

A Few Things of Note

Hello All,

Want some links? You got it!

Best Books of Fall from TO Writers

Also, a little screed on where I used to draw motivation. Thanks to Mark Medley for giving me 1500-odd words to put my psyche so baldly on display.


All best, Craig.